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Research Backs Parental Concerns: Kids With Food Allergies 2x More Likely To Have (GET?) Autism

Cupcake copBy Teresa Conrick

The media continues to report on the research that increasingly shows that there are big time IMMUNE abnormalities in AUTISM. Parents, we have been correct in our concerns about seeing our children with food allergies, skin reactions and chronic respiratory allergies. These were often the first signs that something was not right in our children as they regressed into autism.  If you pay attention, you will also see comments from some news outlets that appear to downplay any connections, like this one --- “But having the immune abnormalities doesn’t mean a child will develop the disorder.” That phrase comes up four times in this one-page article from Science News. For many, keeping autism in the jaws of PSYCHIATRY with its origin in GENES seems to make people feel safer.  If it were true that ANY baby or child could regress -- well, that thought is just too frightening but for many families, that is exactly what occurred. Something happened to the immune system and autism followed. Here’s the article and some key points:

Kids with food allergies are twice as likely to have autism 


  • American kids with food allergies are more than twice as likely to have autism spectrum disorder as kids without, a study of national health data finds.
  • Researchers looked only for an association between allergies and autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, among a total of 199,520 children ages 3 to 17 surveyed from 1997 to 2016.
  • The team found that, out of 1,868 children with autism, 216 had a food allergy — or about 11 percent. By comparison, only about 4 percent of children without autism had a food allergy.
  • Kids with autism were also more likely to have respiratory or skin allergies like eczema than kids without autism.
  • The number of children with autism has more than doubled since 2000, to a prevalence of 16.8 per 1,000 kids. Meanwhile, the number of kids with food allergies rose from 3.4 percent in 1997–1999 to 5.1 percent in 2009–2011.
  • It is unknown whether developing food allergies may contribute to the development of autism,
  • Mice that developed a food allergy displayed behaviors characteristic of autism, such as repetitive behaviors and less frequent social interaction, a 2014 study published in Behavioral Brain Research found.
  • The new finding supports the idea “that different manifestations of immune abnormalities occur in individuals with ASD,”


Here is the actual study: June 2018 - Association of Food Allergy and Other Allergic Conditions With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children 

I looked in Google News to see if other news sources were reporting this study but really none from the major media networks.  That’s odd or maybe telling, as they pick and choose what they want the public to know. Here’s a few examples of some other reports:

Genetic Literacy Project - Is there a link between food allergies and autism

A new study from researchers at the University of Iowa reveals a link between food allergies and autism, though many questions remain….Some medical professionals say parents shouldn’t overreact to the new study…..The new study is limited by the fact that rates of both allergies and ASD have been on the rise in recent years, and the findings rely on self-reported data that don’t provide a long enough timeline from which to draw conclusions. In some cases, self-reported data on children with food allergies and ASD might not be reliable because it can be hard to differentiate between an allergic reaction and aberrant behavior that might be explained by another factor.

Ha - sounds like another, “ blame the parent”  as they won’t get it right, or be RELIABLE! And hey people-- don’t overreact!

The Kansas City Star - Autism and food allergies are linked, study suggests. But which comes first? 

The findings, researchers said, add to a growing body of research that already suggests immunological problems as a possible risk factor for developing autism….The Iowa study found 18.73 percent of children with ASD also had respiratory allergies, compared with 12.08 percent of children without ASD who had them. It also found that 16.81 percent of children with ASD had skin allergies, compared with 9.84 percent of children without ASD….“I wouldn’t want people to misinterpret this to say that a food allergy is causing autism,” nor should children with ASD be routinely screened for food allergies, Sicherer told the Journal.  One issue: Parents of children with autism might report their children have a food allergy, but it's not always possible to know whether it's really an allergy or simply a behavioral preference, Sicherer said….

Really?  Sneezing, wheezing and being in GI pain -- and parents may not know if it’s for real?  And this doctor is concerned about - what -- lines in his office of parents wanting a screening for food allergies?  And a “behavioral preference”-- like diarrhea or constipation? That seems harsh and ignorant.

MEDPAGE TODAY actually did a nice job of reporting the research and NOT adding in opinion, especially from doctors or researchers not involved who seem to deny these immune connections.  The mention of “environment risk factors” is good to see as well. - Food Allergy Most Common Allergic Condition in Autism Association persisted after controlling for other allergies:

The prevalence of ASD among children in the U.S. has increased steadily in recent decades, according to findings from nationally representative surveys, Bao and colleagues noted, explaining that immunologic dysfunction is a potential link between environmental risk factors and ASD.

….In analyses adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, family highest education level, family income level, geographical region, and mutual adjustment for other allergic conditions, the associations between allergic conditions and ASD remained significant…. "The prevalence of both food allergy and ASD has increased over the past 2 decades. Although the underlying mechanisms for the observed association between food allergy and ASD remain to be elucidated, the gut-brain-behavior axis could be one of the potential mechanisms."


It’s important to make connections in science.  For YEARS, smart and brave, researchers and doctors  have made these points about autism -- Dysregulated immunity may not be confined to the intestine in affected children; many of affected children suffer recurrent prolonged infections, particularly of the upper respiratory tract, and there is a high prevalence of dietary allergy, eczema, and adenotonsillar hypertrophy...There appears to be, therefore, a paradoxical immune activation within the mucosal immune system that is associated with minor systemic immunodeficiency….In summary, a pattern is emerging of mucosal immunopathology in a cohort of children with regressive autism. (2003, PAUL ASHWOOD,1,2,6 SIMON H. MURCH,2 ANDREW ANTHONY,1,3 ALICIA A. PELLICER,2 FRANCO TORRENTE,2,4 MICHAEL A. THOMSON,2 JOHN A. WALKER-SMITH,2 and ANDREW J WAKEFIELD 1,5) HERE

I am a big believer in the gut-brain connections in autism.  More and more research proves that it is KEY.  It is crazy that the general public is kept in the dark too often by misinformation and denial.

Let’s add this recent study as another excellent connection from Dr. James Adams et al an ASU-led study shows deep connection between diet and symptoms of autism - Dietary interventions could greatly improve quality of life for those with autism spectrum disorder.  The full study here .

This study involved a randomized, controlled, single-blind 12-month treatment study of a comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention….The positive results of this study suggest that a comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention is effective at improving nutritional status, non-verbal IQ, autism symptoms, and other symptoms in most individuals with ASD.”

Here too, is a commentary to Association of Food Allergy and Other Allergic Conditions With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children here. It seems well done and did not appear to minimize the issue of immune abnormalities in autism -

Children with ASD were significantly more likely than those without ASD to have food allergy (11.25% vs 4.25%), respiratory allergy (18.73% vs 12.08%), and skin allergy (16.81% vs 9.84%). The likelihood of the child having ASD more than doubled among children with food allergy compared with those without food allergy; children with respiratory and skin allergy were also significantly more likely to have ASD, but at a lesser magnitude. While no sex difference was found for food allergy, boys with ASD were significantly more likely than girls with ASD to have respiratory and skin allergy.

From a clinical perspective, patients with ASD who are minimally verbal to nonverbal may be unable to describe the pain and discomfort they experience secondary to food allergy and subsequent inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Instead, their physical distress may manifest as irritability, aggression, and/or self-injury. It is important to underscore the need for health care professionals to conduct a thorough history and physical examination to rule out identifiable medical causes of aberrant behavior, including food allergy and secondary GI inflammation, before proceeding with treatments designed to reduce behavior problems. In addition to GI pathology, other common comorbid medical disorders that occur with ASD include seizures and sleep disturbance. Interestingly, each of these comorbidities has also been associated with inflammatory processes.3,4 It may be that GI dysfunction, seizures, and sleep disorder, in addition to food, respiratory, and skin allergies, are medical comorbidities that characterize the immune-mediated subtype of ASD.

From that brilliant 2003 study above (Ashwood, Murch, Walker Smith, Wakefield et al), we can see that much of this information on autism and immune activation/allergies had been researched and reported. Fifteen years ago, these diligent researchers nailed it yet here we are, still reading studies and seeing the media try to ignore. Minimal progress was made in getting doctors to help.  As parents of such ill children, we keep asking for proper medical care for our kids. Megan regressed into autism as GI reflux, food allergies, and skin rashes took over, as well as constant Strep and ear infections, then seizures took hold. She lives this balancing act still with her immune system, 22 years later, and more kids than ever are following that pattern. It seems that talking about the immune system and autism can become taboo. Thank you to all of the awesome researchers out there who care about our children and please ---- keep it up. Treatments for the devastating immune dysfunction are medically and morally necessary.

Teresa Conrick is Science Editor for Age of Autism.




But that tipping point CIA Parker. hmmmmm, I was slow, but geesh that tipping point for some is never going to come looks like to me. Eespecially when they have witnessed two generations of injury.

And Grace, I guess it does have to do with faith misplaced somewhere; amazing.


Hate to see propoganda get in the way of health, specially for the children. Really disappointing what we have become!


I bet they are waiting for the federal agencies to tell them what to believe. Kinda of like many in the Twin Towers were waiting for some one on the intercom to tell them to leave.

cia parker


Everyone has his or her tipping point. Many reacted to the DPT and it was eventually taken off the market for this reason, and many reacted with "only" Asperger's, not seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and death. It was only when more and more and more vaccines were added to the schedule that more and more and more people reached their personal tipping point and reacted with overt damage. But even now, most people don't. Just a large percentage now. The genes have been there for many thousands of years, but they were helpful in taking fast action against invaders before the unusual, never-before-seen invasion by vaccine antigens started with vaccines. And each vaccine adds to the cumulative vaccine burden.

John Stone


I think perhaps the problem is that public science is increasingly ideology and propaganda based rather than knowledge based: it is often easily falsifiable, but of course it’s absolutist nature is one of the key aspects which is inimical to real science - it can also hide behind technological sophistication but that also does not make it any good. As to medicine there maybe scientific aspects but it can never really be a science since there are so many cases - it exists in the territory of practical applications -and it has long been recognised that something that works for one person does not work for another. Obviously real science may exclude certain possibilities as it goes along but it has no certain destination, and things which were once thought to be the case turn out not to be. But, of course, it should not ever be allowed to harden into (state) ideology. Then you know you have gone wrong.

Grace Green

Benedetta, good question. This could be one answer. People are fearful of their mortality. We used all to believe in religions, gods, and life after death. Most people now have lost that faith, so they have filled the gap with worshiping doctors, and the religion of medicine. Anyone who questions that "faith" is committing blasphemy and threatening their only hope. This is why they get so angry with us. One day, we will achieve enlightenment! Interestingly, the medical establishment make themselves look like gods by being super-rich and powerful, just like the churches used to do!


Barry is wanting to know where all those genes that cause autism came from . Genes seemed to work okay when the parents were vaccinated, but did not seem to do as well when it came time for their children to be vaccinated.

Immune systems are invisible things. We don't really know if it works or not until it does not. Plus it is all tied into the endocrine system which is another invisible thing that we don't know if it works or not; until it don't work, and we get diabetes or some other GOD awful chronic life changing and threatening condition.

I told my sister-in-law before she became a grandmother to warn her children, Did she listen, no and she lives in Mississippi. Yeah yearly flu shots to boot. Both babies are now 4 and 6. The six year old is non verbal, with one eye turned inward and just this past year - a diabetic. Today she texted me laughing that the four year old has a lazy eye and has to get glasses and wear a patch. He said he is getting a new eyeball (meaning glasses) Has she even listened to my post, or noticed when I post --"Are you crooked?"

They won't wake up! WHY? I want to know WHY? That is the greater question!

cia parker


Many DID react to the DPT. I reacted to it with encephalitic screaming syndrome for several days and my brother reacted by beating his head on the bars of his Kiddy Koop for several months. We both grew up with Asperger's. His older son reacted to vaccines with Asperger's more severe than ours, and my daughter reacted with low-verbal autism. I have a cousin who has a daughter institutionalized with severe autism. My mother reacted to the diphtheria vaccine with Asperger's and bowel disease. Her father got a university degree in mathematics at UT Austin (he had the genes for mathematical talent that many with autism have). He was a quiet, calm man, but got a college degree and was the principal of Taylor High School for many years, dated, married, and raised three children, but then at most he would only have gotten the smallpox vaccine. Two factors: our genes predisposed us to reacting to vaccines with encephalitis (hyperalert immune systems). We stored many vaccine toxins such as mercury in our brains (also for genetic reasons: most people have genes that make them excrete most of the toxins) and then our children got some of them in utero, which made their conditions worse. Everyone has a tipping point after which he cannot withstand any further damage, and becomes permanently and often severely damaged.


From 1 in 11,000 in the 1970s ~ to 1 in 350 by the 1980s ~ to 1 in 150 in 2000 ~ to 1 in 59 in 2018 ~ to (projected) 1 in 2 by 2030.
I am sorry for your two.

Accumulation as the immune system learns how, or think it learns how to cope generation after generation too has a great deal to do with it. It is all environmental.

Grace Green

Thanks, Pam, for the link to Jennifer Margolis' article. As an autistic person, I want to say that I too easily go by "impressions" of what packets look like rather than reading the small print, which has often resulted in buying the "wrong thing". While not meaning in any way to blame the youngster or her family for this terrible tragedy, my advice to people with these conditions would be to only buy/eat real foods, rather than processed foods. That way, you know what you're getting.

susan welch

I am confused! I had always thought, because 2 of my 3 grandsons are autistic, that there was SOME genetic vulnerability. I know, for sure, that they were both progressing normally until the MMR. If it is not genes that cause the vulnerability to vaccines, in some families, then why is it that so often more than one child is affected in certain families?

Can anyone throw any light on this - please?


When we condition the human organism to react to peanuts, it reacts to peanuts.


Teresa Conrick

Thanks, Jeanette and ALL!

Barry, I know that is not a question to me but I wanted to answer by saying I personally have never said genes are in the mix,,,,,and even if they were, the amount of vaccinations and environmental pesticides, for instance, are WAY higher than parents ever received so don't think we can compare one generation to the next.......


So it would be more accurate to say that many children first have genes that predispose them to reacting to vaccines etc. (originally a highly protective mechanism) and that it will be autism once their threshold is reached.


How could this theory possibly be accurate, or even plausible? When all of these children inherited their genes, from parents who DID NOT develop autism as a reaction to the vaccines that they were given?

Jeannette Bishop

Thanks, Teresa, for compiling these studies. It's good to see the results from Dr. Adams' study also.


Yes....a 15 year old died from eating a chocolate chip cookie. Social media attacks.....the victim. Sounds familiar!

Angus Files

Genes take thousands of years to change genes have zero to do with the epidemic of I'll health amongst kids.Pull the other one pharma there's vaccines on it.

Pharma For Prison


cia parker

It may be the case that vaccines no longer contain peanut oil, we really can't know for sure, but many vaccine adjuvants applied for patents, and listed peanut oil as an ingredient on their applications. But EVEN if they no longer do, Heather Fraser explains how the molecular structure of peanut protein closely resembles the structure of the Hib meningitis pathogen, so that there is cross-reactivity. Susceptible children are sensitized by the vaccine to substances resembling the pathogen and then develop peanut allergy.

Shelley Tzorfas

Another young teen died from eating a Chocolate Chip Cookie. She knew to be careful but when the package cover was pulled open, the alert that it contained Peanuts was hidden from plain sight.
How many ASD kids are dieing from accidental drownings as they escape from their homes with Adult supervision?
How many families are there that do not know that Vaccines contain Peanut Oils and other Peanut byproducts? How many families are there that do not know that a few decades ago there were hardly any such allergies and it is Hardly genetic? Schools Permitted peanuts in classrooms, lunchrooms, and boardrooms before the middle 1990's but today as kids receive up to 74 vaccines, they cannot.
It is Time to Label Vaccine Ingredients in plain sight just as it is time for the Cookie Monster industry to better label and package foods with peanuts so that no matter how it is opened-the Peanut Ingredient Alerts are present and diligent.
It is TIME for the vaccine industry to have blue box warnings,"This Product May Contain Peanuts or May Be Packaged in a Facility that Contains Peanuts!"

cia parker

Something has to sensitize people's immune systems before they develop allergies or autoimmune disease (closely related conditions). It's usually vaccines. Food allergies were very rare before vaccines and only in people with diseases which caused holes in their intestines which allowed food particles to be absorbed into the bloodstream and sensitize the immune system to them. It WAS rare, but then became fairly common once vaccines started setting off autoimmune reactions in which the immune system attacked the intestinal lining because its molecular structure resembled that of some vaccine ingredients, creating holes. There was NO peanut allergy anywhere before peanut protein was added to some injected drugs like penicillin in the '40s and then into some vaccines (see Heather Frasier). So it would be more accurate to say that many children first have genes that predispose them to reacting to vaccines etc. (originally a highly protective mechanism) and that it will be autism once their threshold is reached. It may be allergies etc. BEFORE the threshold is reached, but they have already been severely affected where they would not have had any of these conditions if they had not gotten vaccines.

Rebecca Lee

Mercury messes up he gut and messes up the brain. And a messed up gut also messes up the brain.

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